Blu-ray Release: Blinded by the Light

STUDIO:  | DIRECTOR: Gurinder Chadha | CAST: Billy Barratt, Vivelk Kalra, Hayley
Atwill, Rob Brydon, Kulvindor Ghir, Sally Philips
RELEASE DATE: Nov. 19, 2019 | PRICE: DVD $15.99, Blu-ray $19.99
BONUSES: deleted scenes, featurette, more
SPECS: PG-13 | 114 min. | Music comedy-drama | 2.39:1 widescreen | DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

RATINGS (out of 5 dishes): Movie  1/2 | Audio  1/2 | Video 1/2 | Overall  1/2

A love letter to Bruce Springsteen’s music inspired by a true story, Blinded by the Light is an old-fashioned upper, wonderfully orchestrated by co-writer director Gurinder Chadha (Bend It Like Beckham), and filled with fine performances, interesting characters and, of course, music by “The Boss.”

Set in 1987, the film centers on a 16-year-old British/Pakistani boy named Javed (Vivelk Kalra, in an impressive debut), who has issues with a domineering, single-minded father (Kulvindor Ghir, Bend It Like Beckham) and the neighborhood people and students who hold a prejudice against immigrants like his parents. With aspirations of becoming a writer but not seeing any way of achieving his dream, Javed sees the light when he hears his first Bruce Springsteen song. Soon, Javed becomes a Bruce-a-holic and with help from an understanding teacher (Hayley Atwill, Avengers: Endgame), scruffy Sikh Springsteen fan confidante Roops (Aaron Phugara, Doctor Who) and a girl he likes (Nell Williams, London Town), Javed begins to write and eventually makes a pilgrimage to New Jersey to see where Springsteen spent his formative years.

Based on the 2008 memoir Greetings from Bury Park by Sarfraz Manzoor, who also contributed to the screenplay, Blinded by the Light may feel a little clunky at times in its plotting, especially in the resolution of the uneasy father-son relationship. But it makes up for this with good vibrations and wonderful musical moments set to Springsteen standards such as “Born to Run” and “Thunder Road.”

Despite a fine 88% positive grading on Rotten Tomatoes, Blinded by the Light found itself stranded in a Jersey swamp at the box-office, taking in $12 million during a relatively lengthy theatrical run. (Perhaps Danny Boyle’s Beatles-based fantasy Yesterday stole some of its thunder.) You can bet, however, that enthusiastic Bruce-sters will be doing the “E” Street Shuffle in its ancillary form.

Buy or Rent Blinded by the Light

About Irv

Irv Slifkin has been reviewing movies since before he got kicked off of his high school radio station for panning The Towering Inferno in 1974. He has written the books VideoHound’s Groovy Movies: Far-Out Films of the Psychedelic Era and Filmadelphia: A Celebration of a City’s Movies, and has contributed film reportage and reviews to such outlets as Entertainment Weekly, The Hollywood Reporter, Video Business magazine and National Public Radio.